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San Luis Obispo – Morro Bay – Cayucos: 1 dinner

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I will be spending one night (a Sunday) in the area and would like to have a memorable dinner with my girlfriend.

Excellent seafood is the primary requirement, with interesting (and local) ingredients and preparations desired, and professional service appreciated. Strong vegetarian options, or at least flexibility on non-meat dishes, is also desired. Price is not a factor.

I’m not looking for fish and chips, but abalone and sea urchin would be bonus items. A good wine list gets bonus points, too.

Here’s what I’ve found with a little research, and I realize there’s a range of dining styles here. I’d appreciate your recommendation, or your own suggestion:

- Hoppe’s Bistro & Wine Bar, Cayucos
- Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley, Morro Bay
- Windows on the Water, Morro Bay
- Korberl at Blue, San Luis Obispo
- Novo, San Luis Obispo
- Ciopinot, San Lius Obispo

Thank you.

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  1. If abalone is really important, call the local growers to find a solid restaurant rec:

    http://www.abalonefarm.com/

    Urchin should be coming from the Santa Barbara channel, about as local as it gets here.

    From your list, I'd say Novo would give the best veg options, has a good wine list, and decent service (for a college town) and interesting ambiance in an old exposed-brick cigar factory in downtown SLO.

    Koberl also gets mostly universal raves for a special meal.

    Might I suggest looking into Range in Santa Margarita--just 10 minutes from downtown SLO. Good food, service and very cozy dining room in an old home. The focus is on meats, but they do seafood occasionally. Lots of local sourcing.

    Orchid at The Inn at Morro Bay has a nice dining room with good bay views, decent wine list and buys local seafood, including the red abalone from Cayucos.

    Giovanni's has the best fresh fish in town, line-caught etc., but last time I was there it was take-out style from a walk-up window, dining on the deck at causal tables. Might be fun for lunch on a nice day. Don't know if they serve alcohol.

    Please give us feedback on your decision and meal! More voices = better choices.

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    Koberl At Blue
    998 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    Novo Restaurant & Lounge
    726 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

    Hoppe's Garden Bistro & Wine Bar
    78 N Ocean Ave, Cayucos, CA 93430

    Giovanni's Fish Market
    1001 Front St, Morro Bay, CA 93442

    Windows On the Water
    699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442

    Orchid
    60 State Park Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442

    Range
    2317 G, Santa Margarita, CA 93453

    2 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane

      Giovannis is a take-out window- they do serve beer and wine- and it is delicious!!!!! But for a dinner meal- this is not your place. Great for snacking, lunch or specific items- the smoked salmon collars are delicious- dungeness crab salad is delicious!! Maybe do a small amount to take back to your hotel room before the BIG meal.

      Good Luck and hope your meal is fantastic! I vote for the RANGE!!!!

      1. re: JalamaMama

        Thanks very much for your comments and recommendations on Range. I can't find an on-line menu for them (please let me know if you have a link!), and I'm focused on seafood, so I'm just a little unsure about going there.

    2. Hi NJFreqFlyer - I just returned from a quick trip to San Luuis Obispo and ended up at Novo. We ate outside under the heat lamps next to the creek. This could be a romantic spot though it seemed to draw a younger, noisy crowd. I especially liked that the offerings were small therefore we were able to select many small plates .. yes, variety is the spice of life. The food was good, moving to very good. Abalone and sea urchin were not to be found.

      1. We ended up at Novo, and had a very nice dinner. See my posting here:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/665069